Cooperstown Honors Doug Walrath

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh reads the Village Arbor Day Proclamation as Peg Walrath looks on. (Photo by Cynthia Falk)

Cooperstown Honors Doug Walrath


The Village of Cooperstown and Rotary Club of Cooperstown celebrated Arbor Day with a ceremony in memory of Doug Walrath on May 22. Walrath was a U.S. Army veteran and 52-year member of Rotary. He graduated from Cooperstown High School in 1947 and earned a Purple Heart after he was severely wounded in the Korean War. Walrath served as village clerk and treasurer from 1965 to 1990. One of two village employees in the 1960s, he oversaw the construction of the wastewater treatment plant; at the time, its associated bond issue was the largest in village history. After retirement, he continued to serve the community as a village trustee and as a member of Rotary and his lifelong faith community at Christ Church Cooperstown.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh spoke in Walrath’s memory and read the official Village Arbor Day Proclamation at the planting ceremony. More than 20 residents attended, including Walrath’s wife of 54 years, Peg. A village crew planted two eastern redbud trees on Church Street, in front of the Cooperstown Food Pantry.

Deputy Mayor Cynthia Falk and Tree Advisory Committee Member Peggy Poulson said the redbuds were selected for their beauty, shade, and short mature height.

“The cedars that used to be here caused some issues with the lines,” Falk said, referring to the low-hanging power and utility lines above the site. “Redbuds won’t get so tall and they grow more slowly, so it will be many years before that becomes an issue.”

Cooperstown has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program since 1984. The program recognizes communities that prioritize trees and the many benefits they provide, including noise and temperature reduction, cleaner air, higher property values, and curb appeal.

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